Weitere Namen
Michael Max Degen (Geburtsname)
Cast, Screenplay
Chemnitz

Biography

Michael Max Degen was born January 31, 1932, in Chemnitz. He attended the Jewish school in Berlin.

During the Nazi regime, his Jewish family was in severe danger of being deported to one of the concentration and extermination camps. Michael Degen managed to survive the time of war and persecution together with his mother. While his father was murdered in the concentration camp Sachsenhausen, they were hidden by friends in Berlin. Decades later, Degen published his much-noticed autobiography "Nicht alle waren Mörder. Eine Kindheit in Berlin" (1999), in which he described his experiences from that time.

After having made his stage debut in 1946, he studied acting at the drama school of the German Theater in East Berlin. Following a two-year stay in Israel, Degen returned to the Berliner Ensemble. During the next years, he had engagements at several German-speaking stages, including theaters in Cologne, Vienna, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Mannheim, and West Berlin. In the late 1960s, Degen made his debut as a director. Throughout his later career, he always returned to the theater both as an actor and a director.

During the 1970s, Michael Degen increased his work for the big screen. Aside from Roland Klick's city thriller "Supermarkt", he also starred in "Al di là del bene e del male" ("Beyond Good and Evil"), directed by Liliana Cavani. In 1978, he could be seen in Franz Peter Wirth's TV mini-series "Die Buddenbrooks", and in 1982, Degen took on a role in Egon Monk's TV movie "Die Geschwister Oppermann". In 1985, he played one of the leading roles in "Die Kolonie", a movie depicting the despotic circumstances in the German "Colonia Dignidad" commune in Chile.

In the 1980s, Degen became one of the most distinguished German television actors. He worked with directors such as Peter Beauvais and Dieter Wedel, and caused a stir with his portrayal of Adolf Hitler in Michael Kehlmann's TV movie "Geheime Reichssache" (1987). Furthermore, he achieved great popularity with his role in the successful TV series "Diese Drombuschs".

Despite being a very busy stage and television actor, Degen still found time to star in big screen movies, including the European co-production "Dr. M" (directed by Claude Chabrol), and Romuald Karmakar's movies "Das Frankfurter Kreuz" and "Manila".

Furthermore, he played the leading roles in both Joseph Vilsmaier's "Leo und Claire" and the Holocaust drama "Babi Yar", which was produced by Artur Brauner. In 2002, Michael Degen published the novel "Blondi", in which he describes the atrocities during the Nazi era from the perspective of Hitler's German Sheperd dog. On television, he could last be seen in the successful Donna Leon adaptations, in which he plays the boss of the police commissioner Brunetti, portrayed by Joachim Król.

FILMOGRAFIE

2016/2017
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2011/2012
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2009
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2007
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2005/2006
  • based on
2004-2006
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2001-2003
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2000/2001
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2000/2001
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1999/2000
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1998-2000
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1993/1994
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1992/1993
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1989/1990
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1985/1986
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1985
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1982
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1981
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1980/1981
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1979
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1978/1979
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1973/1974
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1964
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